Before the age of the internet, it was impossible to book a hotel room.
I had to contact the hotel and inquire about rates and amenities.
Sometimes the hotel was honest when they were having problems, and sometimes the management never bothered to mention potential issues. I remember a time when my wife and I went out of town for the weekend. I knew we would need a hotel room and the options near our destination were slim. I chose a hotel that was in our price range. My wife and I did not know what to expect. When we arrived at the hotel, we were disappointed by the outward appearance of the building. It was terribly run down and in need of major renovations. My wife and I did not know what to expect inside. We walked through the lobby doors and the inside of the building looked as old as the outside. The hotel manager was very nice and competent, but our room was just as run down as the rest of the building and the parking lot. The AC in our room was dingy and dirty and it smelled like dog hair. Every time the AC came on for a few minutes, the smell of animals lingered in the air. We couldn’t turn the AC off completely, because it was 83 degrees outside. Before the age of the internet, these types of problems happened all of the time. Now it’s easy to read customer reviews and it’s even easier to find out if the hotel has problems.